Actor John Ratzenberger is calling on Americans to support the U.S. Postal Service. Ratzenberger is best-known for playing a mailman, Cliff Clavin on the iconic sitcom Cheers, so his voice carries authority for many on this subject. Ratzenberger made his plea on behalf of the USPS through Cameo.
"The post office is in a little bit of a pickle right now, certainly in the news, being bounced back and forth," the actor said. For those who share his concern, Ratzenberger advised them to do their part by patronizing the agency. "Help your local post office. Go down there and buy something," he said.
An important message from none other than Cliff Clavin (@dratzenberger) himself, asking us all to help keep @usps in business!! (thank you for your service, Mr. Ratzenberger) #SaveUSPS #USPS pic.twitter.com/bbS43gNcIP— Tim Kasher (@timkasher) August 16, 2020
Ratzenberger's video quickly went viral as it moved from Cameo onto other forms of social media. Cameo is a service where anyone can commission celebrities to make personalized messages for themselves or their loved ones. In this case, Ratzenberger's USPS PSA was ordered by Tim Kasher, of the band Cursive.
Viewers laughed at the call-back to Cliff Clavin and applauded Kasher for the idea. However, many on social media users pointed out that Ratzenberger has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump since 2016. They wondered how Ratzenberger could speak out for the USPS without denouncing the president, who is openly attacking it.
Trump has made it clear in interviews, press conferences and tweets that the changes in the USPS are intentional. Trump appointed a major donor to his campaign, Louis DeJoy, as the new Postmaster General back in June. Since then, the agency has seen its hours cut, operations crippled, and hardware decommissioned.
All the while, Trump has railed against mail-in voting — an option that many states are pivoting to in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump claims that mail-in voting would not be secure, despite the overwhelming assertion by political scientists to the contrary. Many analysts argue that Trump and other Republicans fear that mail-in voting would result in a greater voter turnout, which in turn would result in more Democratic wins.0comments
"What we know can be boiled down to this: Voting fraud in the United States is rare, less rare is fraud using mail ballots, said MIT's Charles Stewart III in an interview with The New York Times. "They're stories, they're dramatic, they are rare."
Still, Ratzenberger proves that defending the USPS can be a bipartisan effort. The actor has not recanted his support for Trump, telling Fox News in 2017: "I think there will be a lot of people apologizing to him at the end of his first four years."